Delran Governor’s Educators of the Year to be Recognized

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At the Delran Township Board of Education meeting on January 22, 2018 the following teachers, service providers and paraprofessionals will be recognized by the Board for being named Governor’s Educators of the Year honorees:

  • April Wallis – Millbridge Elementary School
  • Cara Davis – Delran Intermediate School
  • Erin Gupta – Delran Middle School
  • Brian Brzozowski – Delran High School
  • Michelle Kerper – Education Service Professional
  • Jeanne Chiaccio – Paraprofessional

Please read below to learn more about these accomplished educators.

April Wallis – Millbridge Elementary School

We are truly pleased to announce April Wallis as the Millbridge Elementary School‘s 2018 Teacher of the Year.  April is a special education teacher.

April routinely goes above and beyond for her students and colleagues.   She is a compassionate and patient teacher who is known for doing a remarkable job helping students who are experiencing learning challenges discover their strengths and she fosters an environment that allows them to succeed. In one of her nominations, a colleague shared that “Her creative flair leads to the production of innovative lessons that address the diverse learning styles within her classroom.”

She models what it means to be a lifelong learner and is continually seeking new knowledge and learning new techniques and strategies to support her students on a wide array of relevant topics such as educational technology, student motivation, classroom management and ways to support the dyslexic learner. She has served as a mentor teacher to aspiring and new teachers and often will take the initiative to offer colleagues materials or resources that will help them better reach a struggling student.

April routinely serves the larger Millbridge community in numerous capacities including being a member of the DEA’s rep council, serving on curriculum committees including most recently the science committee, being an active member of the special education Parent Advisory Committee,and serving as an I&RS representative. She often volunteers her time at community events such as the PTA’s Fall Festival and the DEF’s Harlem Wizards event.

One of her colleagues stated that her “students are fortunate to have her as a teacher. Her knowledge in the area of special education sets her apart as a master teacher”.  Another nomination stated that “The Delran community is fortunate to have her dedication and excellent work ethic.”  The sentiments continued to be echoed by another coworker who stated “It is truly inspiring to witness an educator with such a passion for the profession.”

It is for the reasons and many more that we are proud to recognize this year’s Teacher of the Year….Ms. April Wallis.

Cara Davis: Delran Intermediate School

We are truly pleased to announce Cara Davis as the Delran Intermediate School 2018 Teacher of the Year.

Miss Davis has been a dedicated professional at DIS since 2009. Cara holds numerous roles in the district including:

  • Google certified instructor
  • DHS musical director
  • Math Committee member
  • District Technology Committee member
  • SCIP Committee member
  • New teacher mentor
  • Professional development provider
  • Fourth Grade Teacher

Miss Davis is extremely enthusiastic and a positive asset here at DIS.  She has an excellent rapport with her fourth grade students, and embraces positive behavioral supports in the classroom.  

To quote a former student, “Miss Davis just really GETS me!” She works endlessly to meet the academic and emotional needs of her students.  

Miss Davis has also cultivated a level of respect amongst her colleagues.  She has developed resources to help teachers with ESL instruction. A large number of staff members have attended her sessions on how to use Google in their classrooms.  Her knowledge is a vital resource as we move to a more technology-driven climate.

Having piloted My Math here at DIS, she has become a go-to person for her peers. Miss Davis lives life to the fullest, both inside and outside of the classroom.  Her energy and passion are contagious!  Congratulations Miss Davis on a job well done!

Erin Gupta – Delran Middle School

Mrs. Erin Gupta is an exceptionally talented teacher of music. When you meet Mrs. Gupta, her passion and love for music shines through. Her warm smile and her kind ways make students feel comfortable and accepted.

Walking into Mrs. Gupta’s classroom, you will find the students engaged and on task. She assists students as they embrace the wonderful world of music. Mrs. Gupta is firm, yet playful. She respects her students and, in turn, they exhibit the same respect. Mrs. Gupta accommodates students’ needs, offers a caring helping hand and brings out the best in all of her students.

Mrs. Gupta’s responsibilities don’t end in the classroom. She is the choir director to a prodigious choir. With a wide range of abilities and talent, Mrs. Gupta works her magic! She has students overflowing the classroom and every one of them is listening intently to her instruction. The time and effort Mrs. Gupta puts into her job is evident! Year after year, under Mrs. Gupta’s guidance, we can guarantee beautiful choir concerts, as well as an award-winning choir.  Additionally, Delran Middle School has benefited from many years of having Mrs. Gupta as a co-director of our spring musicals.  Combining her creativity on the stage with her love of music, Mrs. Gupta has helped to direct entertaining and talented performances in front of sold out audiences!

As a colleague, Mrs. Gupta is accommodating and supportive. She is always willing to go the extra mile for her coworkers, as well as her students. Mrs. Gupta surpasses the criteria for this nomination. It is with great pride that we honor Mrs. Erin Gupta for Delran Middle School Teacher of the Year.

Brian Brzozowski – Delran High School

Brian Brzozowski is a consummate professional, working each day to inspire his students to achieve greatness.  He is described by his students as an excellent teacher filled with enthusiasm and energy.  

Brian is a teacher of special education teacher at Delran High School, specializing in the field of mathematics.

He has the innate ability to motivate the unmotivated students through perseverance and having a never-give-up attitude.  He truly believes and embodies the concept that every child can learn and he ensures that it occurs at a high level.  

Mr. Brzozowski is completely accessible to his students, nurturing and encouraging through every academic exercise.  He also participates in many activities outside of the classroom, believing that being a part of student’s lives must extend beyond the four walls of the classroom.

Michelle Kerper – Education Service Professional

Mrs. Kerper serves as a Behaviorist for the Delran school district.  She is an exceptional person who goes above and beyond daily to serve the students of our district. While she is a BCBA for the Grade 1-2 Autism classroom overseeing their current ABA programs, she is also involved in supporting colleagues and students throughout the entire district.  She has spearheaded the RBT training to provide professional development for Paraprofessionals working with our students daily.  She has implemented collaboration meetings between educational service providers and teachers on a bi-monthly basis to help support students effectively and encourage an open cooperative dialogue among colleagues to work together and ensure our students are successful.  Michelle’s support extends throughout our school district for students and staff.

Mrs. Kerper’s personal demeanor towards colleagues, paraprofessionals and all students she services is unmatched.  Mrs. Kerper carries this positive presentation over when she is working with parents, even when the message she needs to convey is challenging.  Mrs. Kerper truly integrates the traits of sincerity, integrity and genuine warmth into every conversation and feedback conference she attends- she ensures that one leaves a meeting understanding their role in helping a child succeed.  

Mrs. Kerper uses methods, strategies and ideas that are cutting edge, with research based support that is current and effective.  Her implementation of behavior plans doesn’t end with the initial protocol but is monitored and modified if needed; to provide both the educator and the student with the most relevant plan/idea that will guarantee success.

Mrs. Kerper is an amazing staff member that really stands out as an outstanding educational service provider.  Her caring nature, calm and encouraging demeanor along with her knowledge and integrity are truly exceptional!  It is with great pleasure that we recognize Michelle Kerper as the 2017-2018 Educational Service Professional of the Year!

Jeanne Chiaccio – Paraprofessional

Jeanne Chiaccio has a heart of gold and is happiest and most fulfilled when she is “making a difference” and working in a position that provides her the opportunity to support students.  

After teaching Kindergarten at St. Paul’s School in Burlington City for 26 years, her position was eliminated due to low enrollment.  Jeanne could not imagine each day without children, so she accepted a position, in 2011, as a cafeteria aide at DIS.  Because her strong teaching and management skills were extremely underutilized, she moved into the position of a district paraprofessional.  Since 2012, Mrs. Chiaccio has successfully worked with several students, with varying disabilities, in the capacity of a one-on-one/classroom aide.  

Mrs. Chiaccio, when working with a student, does all that she can to fully understand that student’s needs,  provide unwavering support, and build a strong rapport.  With whichever teacher Mrs. Chiaccio has worked, each has benefited by having someone who will do whatever is needed to support the teacher and the students to ensure that the classroom environment is optimal for learning.

Mrs. Chiaccio’s warm, peaceful yet high-spirited, child-centered ,and community minded ways enhance our school community; we are thrilled that she is part of our staff.  So, we, at Delran Intermediate School, are truly pleased to announce Jeanne Chiaccio as the 2018 Paraprofessional of the Year.